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Open mike 26/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 26th, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

48 comments on “Open mike 26/08/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    These are the REAL bludgers that the Labour Party should be talking about in key speeches. They are the ones that get most financial benefit out of our state infrastructure, and the ones that hoard their wealth, using every trick in the book to increase it at the expense of those that really need it. Shame on them!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7549236/Half-NZs-super-rich-dodge-tax

    Inland Revenue has found only half of wealthy individuals worth more than $50 million each are paying the top personal tax rate, despite Government moves to combat tax avoidance.

    There are about 250 New Zealanders with wealth in excess of $50m, deemed “high wealth individuals” by Inland Revenue.

    New figures obtained under the Official Information Act show a sample by Inland Revenue of 184 of those individuals, taken between 2009 and 2011, found 49.5 per cent had declared they had earned $70,000 a year or more. The rest declared they earned less. Those who earn more than $70,000 are in the top tax bracket and pay 33 cents tax in the dollar.

    The figure has fallen slightly from the Inland Revenue’s previous sample, taken between 2001 and 2008, which found 50 per cent declared they earned enough to put them in the top tax bracket. The top tax bracket over that period kicked in at $60,000 and paid 39 cents tax in the dollar.

    These tax dodgers are the people that know all the loopholes and speculative tricks, but have little sense of humanity, empathy for strugglers, or sense of responsibility to the well-being of others and society.

    • The article was also potentially misleading in suggesting that half of the uber wealthy actually pay their fair share of tax.  Certainly if you are worth $50 million plus it is extraordinary that you would only have declared income of less than $70 thousand.  But it does not measure the amount actually paid.

      A quick back of the envelope calculation would suggest that someone with $50 million worth of assets getting a 2% return on most of it and then dividing this amount by two for their partner should be earning $450,000 per annum.  I wonder how many of the uber wealthy are declaring this amount? 

      • muzza 1.1.1

        The framing also an attempt to take the focus away from the real issue, which is corporate welfare.

        Concerning self with a couple of hundred people, is simply another attempt at class warfare, to distract from coporate welfare, which is one of the core issues which has wrecked NZ, and will further do so!

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Yep, and reading NACTs innovation list I see a hell of a lot more corporate welfare in our immediate future. I do think that the government should be putting more into R&D, I just don’t think that the government should be giving money to business to do it but doing it themselves, patenting the results and then making those results available to all NZ businesses.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        That’s easy – none. That’s why I like The Big Kahuna’s Comprehensive Capital Tax – taxes based upon expected minimum returns on the capital (physical and financial) rather than declared income. That alone gets rid of a hell of a lot of tax dodging.

      • BillODrees 1.1.3

        I heard the Minister for Revenue, Lord Peter Dunne of Ohariu,  today on radio say that the figureswere for a different period blah blah and didn’t reflect blah.

        Me thinks he is looking for donations from the wealthy.  

        • bad12 1.1.3.1

          Yeah sure the figures were for a different period and the identification of tax-fraud is bound to change dramatically after the ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ has been around the country and sacked 500 of the Inland Revenue Workforce,

          It could be said that as Ohariu is one of the more monied electorates in the country that Dunne is just bowing to those who elected Him to the Parliaments wishes that they pay less tax,

          Dunne tho has certainly done their bidding on a country-wide basis with His little blitzkreig against Inland Revenue He has ripped the ‘local knowledge’ out of the capacity to collect revenue off of those who’s duty is to pay it,

          There’s a whole class of people, funnily enough their mostly well monied, who have the luxury of being able to spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and, energy evading paying their due share to the taxman, the likes of those who write the speeches of the Leader of the Opposition dishing Him up ‘bash-a-Bene’ lines to publicly spray about the place may well be among them, (the debate inherent there is if He in particular can legitimately claim the title of Leader of the Opposition),

          Tragically Dunne appears to be about to further tax the tax department by signing the Government up to significant ongoing and upwardly spiraling costs with an investment in yet another (s**t) computer system which will simply leave more and more of the collection of taxes,(if your not a wage worker),up to the personal honesty of those who are required to pay it and can’t you just see the belly aching laugh inherent within that last sentence,

          Toughening up on tax inspections/audits plus prosecutions and penalties would seem to be the best means of educating those in the Provinces who seem to treat taxation as they do in Greece, a sporting event to be avoided at all cost, cleaning out the ability of provincial Inland Revenue offices to collect tax and identify evasion/avoidance will certainly lower the figures for identified malpractice from those who object to paying their share of taxes but that just gives those evading the payment of taxes a get out of jail free card,

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland…/final-day-for-16-inland-revenue-staff

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/…/seven-staff-laid-off-at-inland-revenue

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday…/ird-cuts-short-sighted-greens-warn

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/…/economys-7-billion-black-hole

  2. Carol 2

    And this is the other side, where a corporate aims to increase its profit margin by abusing and underpaying it’s workers; workers who are earning just the minimum wage, and no doubt struggling to survive on what they earn after an honest days work.

    Good on Unite for making this public:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7549274/BK-takes-grilling-from-long-term-workers

    Some Burger King employees say they have been working for up to 10 years on the minimum wage without receiving any performance or service-related pay rises.

    On April 1, when the minimum wage went up to $13.50 from $13, it is alleged many workers also lost a margin they were earning above the minimum wage. They were told they had to to earn back their right to that margin by completing “module” training. It is understood staff are being told they need to do the training in their own time.

    The female worker said it could take months to complete all the modules and at the end of it there was no guarantee of the pay rise.

    “You get the feeling the managers are all laughing at us,” she said.

    Another worker said when the minimum wage went up he lost his extra entitlement of 25 cents on top of the previous minimum wage.

    And when the union has tried to support such exploited workers, union members have been bullied and pressured to leave the union.

    Unite national director Mike Treen said about 200 people had been compelled to quit the union over the past three months with members’ hours being changed or staff told they wouldn’t be promoted if they didn’t resign.

    “This was done through bullying and pressure.”

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Thank you Carol. I too read both of these articles this morning and wanted to weep.

      But what dismays me most of all is how so many New Zealanders have normalised this. There will be plenty who read both articles and part of them cheered on the rich for being smart enough to cheat on their taxes, while at the same time mentally sneering at people ‘dumb’ enough to flip burgers for the minimum wage.

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Agreed, RL. And probably also some of those people will be at the front of the queue when it comes to bennie bashing. But that’s a result of the narrative that’s been foregrounded in the MSM and other popular media for a few decades.

        However, it’s interesting that the debates on Labour’s direction on the Standard have been getting quite a bit of MSM attention (eg in the interview with Cunliffe on the Nation this morning). There was a time when the main political blog referred to by the MSM was the “sewer”…. there’s a change going on.

        This indicates to me that the narrative is shifting. Just how and how much it is shifting remains to be seen.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        Lots of middle class parents are starting to notice that there doesn’t seem to be much of a future for their kids out there in our current economy. Its hard to miss when your children in their late 20’s and early 30’s start asking you about moving back home to save money…

      • Blue 2.1.3

        These days the workhouse master would be the hero and Oliver Twist the villain.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.1

          Go read pretty much any popular fiction and you’ll find that it’s been that way for a awhile. I realised that after reading a forward by either Anne McCaffrey or Mercedes Lackey (I can’t remember which but both actually seem to have the same political beliefs, they certainly use the same hierarchical political model in their books) where she expressed surprise to find that a lot of her readers though she was of the left. Once I read that I looked at the books I read with a different eye and realised that heroes are almost invariably rich or become rich through the actions of a rich person who supports them.

          • Vicky32 2.1.3.1.1

            . I realised that after reading a forward by either Anne McCaffrey or Mercedes Lackey (I can’t remember which but both actually seem to have the same political beliefs, they certainly use the same hierarchical political model in their books

            I knew there was a good reason why I can’t tolerate their books (McCaffrey especially…)

    • Sailor Sam 2.2

      Burger King gets away with this because there are no jobs in NZ.
      Not one single political party is spelling out where 200,000 jobs are going to come from.
      Why – because they don’t know or they don’t want to know, or they know that these jobs will never happen.
      I am waiting to hear from all political parties where the new jobs will be.
      And I don’t want them to waffle on about it, I am looking for hard and fast statements.
      Will such statements come? Yeah Right!

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        The Greens have plans that would create tens of thousands of jobs, although I’m not really sure how long term a lot of them would be (riparian planting and such).

        • Jackal 2.2.1.1

          There might be a reduction in employment after a few years from such an enterprise, but riparian planting would be largely ongoing because plantings need to be maintained. There are also many additional benefits that need to be considered. It will for instance help reduce pollution in waterways, which is beneficial to our fishing and tourism industries.

          I think the long term sustainability of jobs in green growth areas is much better than plodding along with our throw away outsourced and low waged economy, and the evidence seems to agree:

          Earlier this year, the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts released an info graphic to show the truth about job creation from various sectors.

          A 2011 Brookings report also noted that:

          On a per job basis, establishments in the clean economy export roughly twice the value of a typical U.S. job ($20,000 versus $10,000).

          Median wages in the clean economy—meaning those in the middle of the distribution—are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages.

          Korea for instance will create around 1.6 million new jobs by investing 2% of its GDP into clean and green growth initiatives as part of its fiscal stimulus package. If they can do it, why can’t we? Initiating targets and procedures to reduce green house gas emissions has also been shown to create jobs.

          Much of our ability to capitalize on green growth is dependent on international perception of how pure we actually are. That’s another area where National’s policy to increased environmentally destructive enterprises is economically detrimental for New Zealand.

          The cost of a 5% drop in reputation and consequent drop in demand for primary products and international tourism was reported (PDF) by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development to cost the economy more than 22,000 jobs, which is an annual direct loss of $455 million in primary product sales and a $155 million loss in international tourism.

          Nobody wants to travel to a country where the view is spoilt by oil rigs for instance or god forbid oil spills all over our profitable beaches. With tourism generating $20 billion and 1 in 10 jobs in New Zealand, gambling with an already established driver of the economy is in my opinion pretty damn stupid.

          The continued economic downturn that New Zealand has experienced to a greater degree than many other countries around the world could in part be due to National damaging to our 100% pure branding. John Keys Hard Talk PR disaster for instance would have cost us millions in lost tourism revenue.

          What we need to do is stop subsidizing polluting industries and use that money to subsidize clean and green initiatives. This would create jobs and stimulate the economy in many beneficial ways. It would also ensure New Zealand is doing its part to reduce the negative effects of climate change, which will in turn be far more costly than any benefit from continuing with the same old agenda.

  3. David Cunliffe is on the Nation this morning at 8 am …

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Again Cunliffe handled that superbly despite some pretty curly questions being asked. A good interview… and it’s really hard to imagine Shearer performing anywhere near as well. And for as long as that remains the case the ‘leadership’ question will keep getting asked.

      Which is unfortunate for both men really.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        I may not agree with everything Cunliffe said (he was too positive about Shearer’s Heartland speech, for instance). But he’s walking a difficult tightrope within the Labour Party framework. And he came across as quite passionate, statesmanlike and inspiring.

      • tc 3.1.2

        Good on DC for hanging in there against those in labour who don’t give a toss about a fairer NZ and belong on the other side of the political spectrum, the mallarfia.

    • just saying 3.2

      Wasn’t the “heartland” speech, that Cunliffe was eager to tell us there was nothing in with which he disagreed, the controversial ‘roof painter’ speech?

      • deuto 3.2.1

        The roof painter reference was in a speech to Grey Power in Auckland, a few days before his heartland tour and speeches.

        Here is the Grey Power speech

        http://www.labour.org.nz/news/speech-auckland-grey-power

        • just saying 3.2.1.1

          Thanks for clarifying Deuto.

        • Carol 3.2.1.2

          Ah, thank-you. I was influenced by the context with Cunliffe being asked about divisions in the Labor ranks, on TS, etc.

          So Cunliffe was selective about the Shearer speech he supported, and sidestepped/avoided the problems with the grey power speech. Clever. But then, Cunliffe DOES look to be fitting within the (current) Labour Party parameters, and, while he’s acknowledging more of the current economic and social realities, he’s not going to do too much to scare the horses.

      • weka 3.2.2

        Yes it was. Did Cunliffe say that specifically? That there was nothing in the speech he disagreed with?

        • mickysavage 3.2.2.1

          He said that he had reread the speech and there was nothing that he disagreed with.  The speech does not refer to sickness beneficiaries.

          • Molly Polly 3.2.2.1.1

            Thanks for clarifying that MS for those who mixed up the leader’s speeches.

            Cunliffe was superb this morning. Another good interview, as always. He was measured in his responses, he knows what the country needs re economic development, he states it clearly, and gives examples. You sense his passion and vision for New Zealanders getting ahead. And Labour needs people like him who can tell it how it is, who can resonate with ordinary New Zealanders and at the same time be supportive of businesses and manufacturers. You want to listen to him. He is believeable. He is smart. He is loyal.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2.1.1.1

              he knows what the country needs re economic development,

              No he doesn’t. He knows what capitalism needs and like most economists and politicians, seemingly has NFI WTF the country needs.

            • BillODrees 3.2.2.1.1.2

              http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/08/cunliffe-has-eyes-on-prize/
               
              Cunliffe gave a least two very good performances this week.  The one Parliament was excellent.  The one on The Nation on TV3 was very very good too.   The holiday/study tour was valuable in so so many ways!  
               

               
            • David H 3.2.2.1.1.3

              And that’s it in a nutshell Molly. “You want to listen to him. He is believeable. He is smart. He is loyal.”

              And you CANNOT say that about any other of the crowd that’s in Charge at the moment. Me. Until Labour have a complete clean out. Rotton Ducks included I will vote Green. At least I still like what they say.

  4. North 4

    At last, at last – Sir Andrew Tipping in his valedictory sitting as a judge of the Supreme Court (completing 26 years as a judge of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court variously) has addressed the utterly hamfisted (my words) and wasteful attacks on the legal aid system by this government – see Stuff.co.nz today.

    Some time ago I raised this very matter, particularly in relation to criminal legal aid, on The Standard. Your usually rational contributor “Ad” sneeringly came back with something to the effect – “…..let’s weep for all the lawyers then…..”.

    I look forward to Ad’s reaction to Justice Tipping’s comments, having sufficiently informed him/herself, rather than ignorantly contributing to the anti-legal aid lawyer culture advisedly whipped up by Power/Bazley and others to smokescreen the effective gutting of legal aid.

  5. weka 5

    Lynn, for the second time in two days this bug has occurred. I open pages from the comments list by using command click (this opens each pages in a new tab). Today, I’ve opened five comments and instead of the pages opening to the comment I’ve clicked on, all five pages have opened to a specific post. In this case it is ‘ODT on Electoral Finance Bill’. But each page URL shows a comment URL not the main post URL. Only the page loads at the top of the page, not the comment that the URL should go to.
     
    That last issue – loading to the top of the page, not the comment itself, had been happening on and off recently. But it still loaded the right page. Over the weekend, it’s not even going to the right page. It does seem to resolve itself eventually though and go back to normal

    edit: just seen that the ODT post is not new, but dates from December 12th, 2007

    • felix 5.1

      I too have come across this bug a few times in the past month or so.

    • deuto 5.2

      I have also experienced this intermittently for quite a long time, but usually find that the second click on the comment I was originally seeking comes up.

      Not complaining though, as I have ended up reading some really interesting old posts – for example yesterday I ended up with this relevant one from August 2007 – Why does John Key want to sell Air New Zealand?

      http://thestandard.org.nz/why-does-key-want-to-sell-air-nz/

    • lprent 5.3

      I will have a look at it. That has got to be a problem in the database index structure because I didn’t put cloudflare on until late in the evening… At least that is what I will look at first.

      BTW: I’ve fixed the permalinks on comments. Dropped the page number. It was a pain with links on posts with comments getting “lost” when a new page started.

  6. Ianmac from Vietnam 6

    It is easy to be sidetracked by stats and dollars when thinking of Christchurch. The story of Elsie Locke brings home the powerlessness of those in the East of Christchurch:
    “However, since September the 4th 2010, anyone connected to Christchurch has had their lives changed forever. Due to two devastating earthquakes and all the smaller ones in between huge parts of Christchurch have been damaged beyond repair. The Avon Loop community was badly damaged, and this time the people have had no power or control over the fate of the community. No means to take part in the subsequent decisions made by the Government regarding the ongoing occupation of the Loop or what will become of the area in the future………”
    http://www.projectfreerange.com/heartbreak-despair-and-life-lessons-in-earthquake-town-discovering-we-dont-actually-have-absolute-rights-to-our-land-and-homes/

  7. BillODrees 7

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-maher/todd-akin-republicans_b_1826617.html

    Bill Maher has an excellent article in he Huffington Post that resonate a bit of Paula Bennett, John Key, Hekia Parata and Bill English. 

    ” Or as it’s known on Capitol Hill, supply-side economics. Remember that magic beans theory? That you actually bring in more revenue by bringing in less? Ronald Reagan believed it. But at least back in the ’80s it was new. The thing is, we tried it, and it doesn’t work. Yet, Paul Ryan, who every shit-for-brains pundit in America keeps telling us is a “serious” guy, still believes in the supply-side theory. All the Republicans do. They all believe in something that both science and history have shown to be pure fantasy. The symbol for their party shouldn’t be an elephant — it should be a unicorn.” 

    A great read. 

    • joe90 7.1

      Sort of sums things up Bill.

      http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/hurricane-isaac-2012-12058876

      The influential conservatives in this country are now dedicated to nothing less than the ultimate delegitimization of the concept of a national self-government. Some of them are in it for the bucks; state governments are more easily bought and controlled. Some of them are in it out of pure ideology, and out of tired ideas that already have caused far too much historical mischief. Some of them are in it because, frankly, they don’t know any better. But the overriding goal of the modern conservative movement, which its adherents will make obvious no matter how truncated their convention is this week, has been to make something alien out of something that is essentially ours and, historically, the best vehicle through which to exercise our better selves, as a people and a country.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Remember that magic beans theory? That you actually bring in more revenue by bringing in less? Ronald Reagan believed it. But at least back in the ’80s it was new.

      No it wasn’t. It was tried in the US just prior to the Great Depression. Amazingly enough, what that paper shows is actually the reverse of what it says it shows. If the people who were obviously not paying their taxes had paid them then the taxes paid would have been far higher than what was paid after the tax cuts. I also suspect that after WW1 the US government probably paid more attention to tax dodges.

      Also interesting to note that the lower taxes resulted in exactly what we’ve just seen – a bubble in the financial sector and then a crash.

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        In fact you can see high tax rates on high incomes as a perfectly sensible mechanism for preventing fiscal bubbles.

  8. lprent 8

    Just a warning. This evening I will be looking at fixing the cloudflare issues from this week. There may be some odd effects.

  9. fnjckg 9

    wow. TS has definitely changed for the better across recent time
    i enjoy reading it more
    keep cleaning out those Bertie germs
    keep reaching forward
    Rock On!

    (RL: interesting points made)

    And, now for The Newz

    S-B film-maker “kicks hornets nest”

    Asset sell-off DEFER
    deference helpful

  10. prism 10

    I heard Dunne Revenue Minister defending the wealthy as paying the correct tax it only appears that they’re not because of changing dates for tax reshuffling. Keep the comfortable ones on side LIBerace. And of course he doesn’t want any change to the MMP that has given him his Position of Importance.

    We have till the 7th September to put final ideas forward. on MMP. There appears to be a concerted effort to drown out individual opinion by people going online with a form letter approach. Those who have an individual even slightly left position are needed to provide a balanced view! If you go into archives here there will be a piece with a link so easy peasy for you.

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    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    21 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    21 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    22 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    24 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    2 days ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    2 days ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    2 days ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 days ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    13 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    17 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    17 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    19 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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